The DRIFTA Community
Gen and I just returned from a weekend camping beside the Cobark Creek, near NSW's stunning Barrington Tops area. It was the annual camping event for DRIFTA, a rapidly growing gear manufacturer, importer and retailer based in nearby Gloucester.
DRIFTA have a vibrant online community, with over 4,000 members in their private Facebook Group, and this camping event was actually instigated by a couple of members of the community. It showed too, with the event having an entirely non-commercial feel.
Over 500 campers travelled from across Australia for the weekend. While it's a beautiful place, for many it was a long trip. Curious to see what enticed people to make the drive we asked around, and 'community' is the word that was repeated.
While most spent the majority of their time outdoors escaping others, people wanted to meet each other in the flesh, and were keen to spend time together chatting about all things camping. It was a social style of camping, and strangers were chatting fireside, sharing beers and even meals all weekend long.
From Oztents to swags, DRIFTA DOT campers, Ultimates, Patriots, fifth wheelers and tipis - the DRIFTA community is diverse. It's a really inclusive one too, a great mix of those just starting out, camping veterans, and everyone in between.
While DRIFTA did have their latest DOT camper on display, it had to share the limelight with a scale model built by a passionate member of the community.
Dozens of fire pits, truck loads of firewood, and a row of Joolca hot showers kept the cold at bay. Just.
While there was camp cooking and coffee demos, and wonderful live music, the highlight for us was the people.
We wandered the valley and had a great time meeting everyone, checking out all kinds of great campers, 4x4s and unique setups, and hearing stories of recent trips.
The DRIFTA Camping Event is firmly now an annual event, and a second event for 2018 is in the works for Queensland this August 3-5, get in touch with DRIFTA Brisbane for details.